Georgia tops State: News and Notes

STARKVILLE - Georgia's famous mascot, Uga VI, didn't make the trip here due to weather-related travel complications. The decision was made Friday not to bring the dog due to concerns about the effect of Hurricane Rita on travel in the area, Georgia sports information director Claude Felton said.

It was the first game Uga has missed since the Bulldogs played in the Oahu Bowl in Honolulu, Hawaii, on Dec. 24. That also was the last game Jim Donnan coached at Georgia. Sonny Seiler, the owner of all the Ugas, couldn't remember the last time the mascot had missed a regular season game.

MORE PENALTIES: The Bulldogs still don't have their penalty problems solved. Georgia was flagged three times for 29 yards in the first half, but the timing of the infractions was worse than the total number.

The worst was a holding call against Dan Inman which turned a 27-yard Thomas Brown gain to the Mississippi State 2-yard line into a 9-yard loss. Mississippi State's fans were irate when Inman wasn't called for holding again two plays later on a 13-yard run around the right side by Danny Ware. When a video replay clearly showed Inman with a handful of jersey, the Starkville crowd began chanting, "Holding, holding." Georgia eventually scored on the drive.

Georgia entered the game as the second-most penalized team in the conference, behind only LSU.

WOOZY BIG MAN: Senior defensive tackle Gerald Anderson was helped off the field with 1:58 remaining in the first half after suffering a concussion. Anderson did not return the rest of the game. His condition for the Oct. 8 Tennessee game wasn't immediately known.

WEATHER SCARE: The two Bulldogs were able to get Saturday night's game in after a couple of close moments with the weather radar. The eastern Mississippi area was under tornado warnings throughout the day Saturday.

There also was some concern right before the game that lightning could delay the start. A small rain shower scattered the fans from their seats about 40 minutes before the game, and two lightning flashes could be seen in the distance.

The Southeastern Conference's lightning policy requires each home team to have a lightning detector at every game. If lightning is detected within 15 miles of a stadium the public address announcer is required to tell fans that lightning is in the area and they may leave the stadium and re-enter if they like. If lightning is detected within six miles, the game must be stopped until the weather passes.

The two teams did have to deal with forecasted wind gusts of between 20-30 miles per hour.

The last time Georgia had a game delayed by weather was in 2002, when a game at South Carolina was stopped for 40 minutes in the fourth quarter. After play resumed, David Pollack made an interception in the end zone to give the Bulldogs a victory.

NO PROBLEM: Charles Bloom, the SEC's director of communications, said there was "no hesitation" from the conference or either of the participating schools about moving the game from its original 9 p.m. ET television time slot to 7:45 p.m. The change was requested by ESPN, after the Tennessee-LSU game was postponed to Monday. That game was scheduled to be shown at 7:45 on ESPN.

Either participating school could have vetoed a change, Bloom said, but Felton said his school was not consulted before the decision was made. The Bulldogs got word from the SEC after noon Friday that the game had been moved, which was not a problem for Georgia, Felton said.

LEGENDS IN THE BOOTH: Saturday's game featured more than 100 combined years of radio play-by-play experience. Georgia's Larry Munson is in his 40th year at Georgia after spending 15 years as the voice of the Vanderbilt Commodores. Mississippi State play-by-play man Jack Cristil has Munson beat for tenure at one school but not overall longevity. Cristil is in his 52nd season with the MSU Bulldogs.

STARTING LINEUP: Sean Bailey started at wide receiver as Coach Mark Richt had predicted he would. Bailey sat out last week's game due to a hamstring injury.

Also as expected, linebacker Danny Verdun Wheeler maintained the starting position at weakside linebacker. That was Jarvis Jackson's spot in the first two games of the year, but Verdun Wheeler started last week against Louisiana-Monroe as Jackson sat out with a thumb injury. Jackson returned against Mississippi State but played as a reserve.

SURPRISE APPEARANCE: Sophomore Marcus Howard, a highly recruited player out of South Carolina, may finally be making some progress. Howard, a two-time Class AA all-state player in South Carolina, was in on the game's first possession.

Howard redshirted in 2003 and played at linebacker in 2004. He was moved to defensive end in the spring of 2005.

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